Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Family Traditions

What I have written below came from another comment I made at LFL today on the topic of teaching children to cook. But after I wrote it, I thought I would start a series on traditions within our families. So, here is the first in a series of traditions posts:

I started a tradition here in our family where we are starting each child with their own cookbook they can take with them when they are grown. I work from a four-week menu plan. I started by asking each of the oldest ones what their favorite meals are. Then I made a list with them of the meals they would like to learn to make. This is a big deal to them because it means they are getting big enough to do some more things on their own. It's almost like a rite of passage!

We carefully write down each of the steps in making the recipe and then they go through the "four-step learning process" we use for training on everything: First, watch Mom/Dad do it. Next, help Mom/Dad do it. Then, do it with Mom/Dad's help. And finally, do it on their own (with a parent close by to answer questions). (Each step can be repeated, as often as needed, until Mom/Dad feels the child has achieved mastery of that level.)

Oh! The other thing I do is to make sure to write down some notes on the page where we wrote the recipe about the time we first made it together, whether it was a special occasion, how it turned out, etc. I also try to include a personal note of encouragement about how proud I am of them and the growth I see in them at that point in their lives. I love to see their smiles when they read these notes!

My hope is that by the time they are grown, they will have a cookbook (yes, even the boys) that they can use in their own families and to bless others.

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